Panthers return four starters on baseball team

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Superior Sun

The Superior Panthers return seven players, including four starters from last year’s roster. The experience of those returning players will be beneficial as the Panthers prepare for the 2014 season.

First-year head coach Manuel Ortega leads the Panthers after three years as an assistant coach. Despite the return of four starters, Ortega still considers the Panthers a “young team” but expects them to compete.

“My expectations for the year are to get these guys physically and mentally ready for each game,” he said.

The 2014 Panthers are: Ceasar Villalbos, Eric Oatis, Matthew Zavala, Rickey Longoria, Andrew Lopez, Elias Olmos, Jose Lira, Vincente Arriola, Nicholas Cruz, Austin Navarrette,

Jessie Lopez, Stevie Denogean, Edgar Galindo, Steven Bryd, Jalon Murry, Joseph Diaz-Gonzales, and Daniel Ramirez.

Ortega said the team has lofty goals for this season and knows they have the talent to accomplish them.

“Our goal is to make it to the state tournament and try to become champions,” he said.

Andy Luberda (919 Posts)

Andrew Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working 15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for 11 high schools. His stories are published in Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun, in addition to the San Tan Valley Daily PRSS and CopperArea websites. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College before graduating with a BS in Communication from Arizona State University in 2014. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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